Italy – Museum of Elsewhere is a performance art and installation project conceived by Italian artists Francesca Foscarini and Cosimo Lopalco, that focuses on the themes of the contemporary museum and the relationship between architectural space and the performative body. The artistic goal is to scenically represent the contemporary museum in relation to the body. The Museum of Elsewhere is therefore conceived as a method where performative acts populate architectural and urban spaces in a museum sense. The format stems from the belief that the contemporary museum in its continuous search for that Other and Elsewhere that has guided it since the time of the Greek mouseíon / μουσείον (the sacred Elsewhere of the Muses), can now itself be considered the “art” in an exhibition, a culturally and politically relevant work that spreads its own aesthetic-political codes and which as such deserves to be artistically represented and intertwined with other languages. The project is developed by a group of Italian and foreign artists, working together in the creation of an innovative exhibition that includes works on display, objects or bodies, thus composing a museum where the languages of performance, sound and visual installations meet the more traditional ones of architecture, painting, sculpture and artefacts. The aim is to stage the contemporary museum by transforming it into a museum of the living body where the various and complex characters of the Italian cultural tradition, the quest for the identity definition, and the sense of contemporary society are explored. Museum of Elsewhere is based on the idea of a dialectic gaze in which the other and the elsewhere are always present inside and outside of us. The artists have created a museum space inhabited by durational performances: bodies which are treated as proper works of art. The spectators/visitors, invited to follow the simple rules of a museum, can go through the exhibition independently, deciding their path, the time and the attention they will dedicate to each individual piece, which could be performative actions, objects, sounds, visions, bodies in motion or motionless. The show is therefore a truly multimedia immersive installation that involves the participation of artists from different sectors of art: visual art, sound art, performance and music. The artists have created several rooms that contain artistic pieces. The art pieces are both live installations (with live performers) and video/sound installations. The project renews the classic relationship between audience and theatre, between museum and visitor, inserting living bodies that come out of the traditional stage and fully enter other places. The project is site-specific and will be adapted to other chosen exhibition space every time it will be presented. The work can be modulated, and different live performances will or will not be included according to the specific possibilities of each space and production. The project was developed thanks to the collaboration between two Italian structures (Lis Lab/Cross Festival and VAN performing arts company) and the City Contemporary Dance Company from Hong Kong. The organizations have provided a fruitful environment for a mixed group of artists that have worked on the development of the project.
Client: CROSS Festival